Chris Fontaine is still perfect. For nearly a year, Chris Fontaine has been unbeatable at Showtime Speedway and Saturday night was no different. He won his sixth straight Super Late Model race at the in Clearwater, Florida racetrack despite some close competition early in the evening.
After dominating practice, Fontaine ended up second in time trials when Scott Grossenbacher set an identical time to Fontaine. Grossenbacher got the top spot for setting his fast lap sooner than Fontaine in the group session.
“It really made me nervous when Scott (Grossenbacher) set such a good time in time trials.” Fontaine told Speed51.com presented by JEGS. “We were timing him in practice and weren’t really expecting that.”
It took just two green flag laps for the former NASCAR Camping World Truck series campaigner to take the lead and hold on for the duration of the 50-lap event.
The win continues a streak that dates back to the fall of 2013.
“I learned a lot in the (Camping World) Trucks and was able to bring it back here,” admitted Fontaine. “We’re having some great success and I can’t believe it. I’ve won more in the last six months than I have in my whole life; it’s incredible. It’s fun coming to the race track when you win.”
Drew Brannon qualified third, but started on the pole due to an invert of three. Brannon, who was driving for the first time in two years, took the runner up spot at the checkers after pressuring Fontaine through the late stages of the race.
For Brannon, who spends most of his time studying pre-med these days, just being back at the track was enough; finishing second was the icing on the cake.
“This feels amazing (to be back in a car). I’m not gonna lie. I’m a little out of shape, but this feels great.” stated the former Late Model standout and past champion.
The difference maker for Brannon was a lack of practice on fresh tires throughout Friday night and the afternoon on Saturday.
“We were too tight and we knew that coming in. We chased tires all last night. We had no tires to put on so when we finally put new tires on today it just locked the car down a little too much, It was just too tight, but we’ll get it figured out for the big race for sure.”
A tight condition also plagued fast qualifier Grossenbacher who would settle for the third.
“We were confident after being able to beat Fontaine in time trials. We felt like we had a really good car. I just didn’t know what the balance was gonna be and it turned out we were just a little bit on the tight side and couldn’t roll the center like we needed to,” said Grossenbacher.
Grossenbacher dropped back to fourth on the initial start before using the high line to get around Justin Larson for the third spot.
“I just love running the outside pretty much everywhere and the outside is good here. The car actually turned a little bit better up there in places, but it just wasn’t enough to make a run on Drew (Brannon).”
After the race, all three of the front runners were firmly focused on the big Labor Day weekend race at Showtime. The top Super Late Model teams in the state will go for 103 laps and a $7,500.00 to win payday in the Bryan K. Wescott Memorial on Saturday August 30th.
With a rain date of Sunday, and even Monday of that weekend if needed, promoter Robert Yoho was adamant that the race will go on.
“This place is gonna be packed and I don’t care if we have to wait until Monday, we are gonna race that weekend and it’s going to be something special here,” Yoho said.
For more information on Showtime Speedway or the upcoming Bryan K. Wescott Memorial, visit www.ShowtimeSpeedway.us
Showtime Speedway – Clearwater, Florida
Super Late Model 50 – Official Results
July 19, 2014
1) Christ Fontaine
2) Drew Brannon
3) Scott Grossenbacher
4) Justin Larson
5) David King
6) Dakota Stephens
7) David Green
8) Robert Yoho
9) Eddie King
10) Ryan Lisak
By Mark Keeler – Speed51.com correspondent – Photo Credit: Speed51.com